Jay Z spotlights social injustice with ‘Songs For Survival’ playlist

It features music from Nina Simone, Kanye West, Marvin Gaye and Beyoncé

Jay-Z has compiled a Tidal playlist called ‘Songs For Survival’ in the wake of widespread controversy over the police killings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile in the US.

The playlist, which gathers songs about social injustice, a Tidal press release notes, includes music by Nina Simone, Kanye West, Kendrick Lamar, Marvin Gaye, James Brown, Stevie Wonder, Curtis Mayfield, Fela Kuti, Outkast, Gil-Scott Heron, and Jay Z’s wife, Beyoncé. The accompanying cover art is a picture of Martin Luther King, Jr. shaking hands with Malcolm X.

The playlist follows the new song that Jay Z recorded in response to the killings, which is titled ‘Spiritual’. Jay Z explained that the song is one he began writing “a year or so” ago following the police shooting of another citizen, Mike Brown.

He wrote on Tidal: “Punch (TDE) told me I should drop this when Mike Brown died. Sadly, I told him, ‘This issue will always be relevant.’ I’m hurt that I knew his death wouldn’t be the last. I’m saddened and disappointed in THIS America. We should be further along. We are not.”

Solange and Swiss Beatz have also shared new song in response to the killings, while Beyonce expressed her sorrow at Sterling and Castile’s deaths in a note on her website. She wrote: “We are sick and tired of the killings of young men and women in our communities. It is up to us to take a stand and demand that they ‘Stop killing us’.” At her recent show at Glasgow’s Hampden Park, she asked for a moment of silence for the killings.